The law industry hasn’t been very openly-accepting about work from home legal jobs.
It’s mainly because the profession often requires face-to-face communications, negotiations, and transactions daily. But times are changing, and many law firms have been adapting the “agile working” approach, wherein “as long as the job gets done, it doesn’t matter where or how lawyers and legal professionals do it.”
In London, for example, the business district is feeling this shift.
While more and more companies are embracing agile working and letting people’s lives follow different paths, professionals are no longer coming into the office daily. Just once or twice a week will do.
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And this is happening everywhere around the world. Pretty cool, if you think about it, because anyone can now take up work from home legal jobs on the side, after completing all tasks from their “day jobs.”
So what work from home legal jobs are there?
11 Types of Work From Home Legal Jobs
But if you still want to take advantage of your legal background and want to mix both worlds, here are your options:
1. Virtual Lawyers
By definition, a lawyer is someone who has finished training in the field of law, and someone who provides advice on legal matters.
As a lawyer working for a firm, you’ve probably worked from home, from a coffee house, or from everywhere else in the past just to juggle your workload.
When you switch to work from home legal jobs, the tasks you did as a lawyer in your traditional 9-to-5 job still stands. If you specialized in estates, the focus on providing legal advice to anyone having estate problems.
The only difference is that you’ll have total control where you meet clients (it can be from Skype or any video-conference tool, a restaurant nearby, or even your home office).
2. Contractual Attorney or Trial Consultant
An attorney (or attorney-at-law) is a lawyer who is qualified and licensed to represent clients in court. Although it is used interchangeably with the term “lawyer” in the US, we’ll use attorney in this concept just to differentiate the tasks.
When law firms suffer from work backlog, they hire contractual attorneys to help meet deadlines, even if it means they do the job from home.
With technological advancements that let attorneys meet with clients, attend litigation remotely, and negotiate in behalf of clients with video-conference tools and Cloud-sharing apps, working from home as an attorney is quite possible.
As an attorney-at-law with court experience, you can also work as a behind-the-scenes guy and consult for other legal professionals.
And since you’re not required to show face in court, your job can be completely performed from home.
3. Virtual Paralegal Jobs
Paralegals provide support to attorneys whenever they are swamped with caseloads. As a virtual paralegal, you perform the same task, except correspond with your clients via e-mail, phone, Skype, or other similar ways.
Virtual paralegals can handle various tasks, from drafting documents to filling forms, helping with research, and other tasks that are allowed within the bounds of their role.
Since paralegals are not lawyers and have not passed the bar, their work often goes through a practicing lawyer. The upside to this is that paralegals often take up an unofficial “specialization”, such as immigration law, human rights, and so on, since they focus in the same specialization as the lawyer they work for.
4. Legal Researcher
Generally speaking, a person who works in legal research is someone dedicated to learning everything they can about the cases they’re currently working on. The more information they gather, the higher their chances of helping the team win a case.
Work of legal researchers happen weeks before the actual litigation process in the courtroom. The legal research is what help attorneys tie evidence presented to past cases and existing laws.
If you’re interested in this kind of home-based legal job, feel free to check what I’ve written about making money as a courthouse researcher in the past.
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5. Legal Writers
If you have a background in law and you have a knack for writing, you’ve got a pretty in-demand set of skills right there.
You can draft briefs, write motions and memos, and handle every kind of document a law firm needs, regardless of case type or specialization. You can also edit legal documents, or analyze long documents and write summaries.
Outside the traditional law industry, you can also blog about law, write a legal book, and other types of publications.
6. Legal Sales Executive
If you’ve found success in a sales position before, having the additional legal knowledge helps you land a very specific profession: legal sales executive.
This role is responsible for selling products or services that legal professionals may need in their day-to-day jobs.
This can be anything from a subscription from Bloomberg Law, to Westlaw’s online legal research platform.
Since you know how to communicate with lawyers and other professionals in the law industry, you’d be able to use your communication and persuasion skills more effectively and hopefully land a sale.
7. Legal Recruiter
Much like the job of an online recruiter or headhunter, a legal recruiter finds “talent” needed by law firms, courthouses and even private companies looking for specific professionals.
A legal recruiter has background in law and experience in the Human Resources field. He/she can work from home as a solo headhunter, or become a contractor to a headhunting company. The choice will be up to you.
8. Legal Transcriptionists, Interpreters and Translators
Legal professionals don’t need to go too far out of the left field when it comes to their work-from-home job of choice.
As legal transcriptionists, translators and interpreters, their job is to transcribe, translate or interpret legal documents for law firms, law offices, and other professionals in the law industry.
Although these work from home legal jobs are three separate types of profession, I bunched them all together because their requirements are similar: can understand legal jargon, knows how to use citation, type quickly, writes and proofreads documents, and so on.
Of course, you need to be familiar with the language you’re trying to translate, or the deep legal terms you’re trying to interpret.
9. E-Discovery Professionals
E-discovery (shortcut for electronic discovery) is a billion-dollar industry wherein people with legal background are collecting and processing every piece of document and evidence from lawsuits and criminal cases in the hopes of preserving them as electronically-stored information (ESI) for future research.
E-discovery professionals can work from home as freelancers.
If you’re lucky to land a contract for a local law firm or something similar, you can even build your own e-discovery firm from scratch.
And with ESI becoming the norm in the law industry, there’s good money and a positive outlook in this line of work.
10. Legal Nurse Consultant
This is a very specific job, since you’d have to be familiar with medicine jargon (or much better if you have nursing experience) and also know the ins and outs of the legal system.
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These skills set will make it easy for legal nurse consultants to provide guidance to attorneys involved in medical-related cases.
Lawyers are amazing at mediating since they can easily find all angles to a story, assess the situation, and settle legal disputes (hopefully outside of the courtroom).
Private companies, individuals, and other kinds of institutions may hire mediators as a contractor on as-need basis. With the right set of tools, this job can be performed from home or anywhere around the world.
Where to Find Virtual Legal Jobs
Transitioning from Office to Work from Home Legal Jobs
Transitioning from a traditional office job to work-from-home opportunities is never easy.
Regardless of occupation or field, people who retire the 9-to-5 will experience some sort of adjustment with the change. If you’re facing this right now, know that everything will fall into place soon.
Check the possibilities of work from home legal jobs listed here. And if those do not interest you, you can always explore other online opportunities, such as starting a podcast, becoming an e-book author, teaching what you know online, and other non-legal profession that can be performed in the comforts of your own home.
And for those who wish to skip “working” from home and just launch a business instead, here are some passive income generating ideas that could help you brainstorm for your own project.